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26 June 2008 PR 08/92

Loughborough University professor is awarded prestigious fellowship

A Loughborough University professor has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) celebrates excellence in teaching by recognising individuals who are outstanding as teachers and promoters of learning.

Professor Tony Croft, who is Director of the University’s Mathematics Education Centre, has been selected to receive the honour in recognition of his sustained commitment to mathematics education.

With a long and varied teaching career, Professor Croft has co-written many very successful mathematics textbooks that are now used extensively in higher education institutions throughout the UK and around the world. He is perhaps best known for his pioneering work in mathematics support, championing the cause of students, studying in a wide range of disciplines, who find the mathematical demands of higher education particularly challenging.

He established Loughborough University’s Mathematics Learning Support Centre in 1996 – a Centre that rapidly became a success and provided a model that many other universities have followed.

In 2005 Professor Croft’s work received external recognition and a significant boost when, in a collaborative venture with Coventry University he bid to establish a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The bid was successful and he was awarded £4.85 million to develop sigma (the Centre for Excellence in the University-wide Provision of Mathematics and Statistics Support). sigma has had a huge impact at both Coventry and Loughborough Universities, which now boast superb student support facilities, drop-in centres, private and group study areas, interactive classrooms, dedicated student support staff and much more. His influence throughout the sector has been far-reaching and substantial.

In 2007 Tony was awarded a Personal Chair in Mathematics Education from Loughborough University in recognition of his commitment to improving the student learning experience of mathematics and statistics.

Speaking about the fellowship Professor Croft said: “Mathematics is important to so many aspects of a modern, technological society. Students in an increasingly wide range of disciplines need to be encouraged and supported in their learning of it. In my work, I have sought to make mathematics accessible, particularly for those who find it very challenging but necessary, and it is wonderful that my efforts have been recognized through the award of this fellowship.”

Professor Morag Bell, Pro Vice Chancellor of Teaching at the University added: “I am delighted that Professor Croft has been awarded this prestigious fellowship. It is superb recognition of his pioneering work over many years and we are privileged at Loughborough to benefit from his expertise.”

Professor Croft will attend a special NTFS celebration event in September where he will receive £10,000 as part of the fellowship. This can be used for personal development in learning and teaching.

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Notes for editors:

  1. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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